Games help children to enjoy church. When used appropriately, they can also reinforce a lesson. Games for children ages 3 through 5 should have simple rules that the kids can grasp quickly. They must also provide the right degree of challenge to a child's physical, social and intellectual skills. Some of the best church games for young children are classic children's games adapted to the lesson's theme.
Simon Says is an excellent game to play with young children when you want to emphasize the importance of obeying God or parents. The game leader commands children to perform actions, such as jumping on one leg or spinning in a circle. If the command is preceded by the words "Simon says," the children should perform it, but otherwise children should not do the action. This game can demonstrate the importance of listening carefully to instructions from God and parents.
Duck, Duck, Goose
By modifying the words used in the game "Duck, Duck, Goose," teachers can emphasize the key point of a preschool lesson. For example, children can be instructed to use the words "Jesus loves, Jesus loves, you" in place of the traditional words. The names of heroes and villains from the Bible can also be used. For example, a game of "Goliath, Goliath, David" could show how David rose to the challenge of Goliath's threats.
Music can be a great aid to learning for young children, and Musical Chairs provides an opportunity to listen to one song repeatedly. Play a Bible verse set to music or another song you want the children to internalize, and encourage the children to sing as they walk. Another option is to place pictures of people children should pray for at each chair. When the music stops and children sit down, encourage them to pray briefly for the person pictured.
Hot Potato is another game where you can replace the traditional words with lyrics related to your lesson. For example, you could have the children repeat a Bible verse you want them to memorize as they toss a potato or other object around the circle. Young children enjoy repetition, so they will usually play the game enough times to learn the Bible verse or key point.
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